The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!
6953 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Catalogue
Year Purchased: 1979
Price Paid: 125 ($US)
This was my 2nd banjo. (see my Harmony review) I was just getting into bluegrass. Good sound that improved as it aged.
Sound Rating: 8
The action was a little high so I used a 1/2 inch bridge and put the taile piece as far down as I could without touching and kept the head tight.
Setup Rating: 8
It came with simple dot inlays which I replaced with stars. I also put a quarter moon with stars in the peghead. For the first year it had only a Tung oil finish. Then I got a wipe on varnish from Stew Mac (which they no longer sell) and it looks good
Appearance Rating: 8
Not fancy but no complaints.
Reliability Rating: 8
Customer Service: not rated
Beautiful mahagony neck and resonator.
Components Rating: 9
Stew Mac doesn't sell kits anymore, and around 1990 it sold for over $600, 5 times my price. It was the best bang for the banjo buck in existence. But if I could do it without help, anyone could. I sill have it, and keep it at work behind the disk drives in the computer room. I'm lucky enough to have lunch jams with other pickers.
Overall Rating: 8
'New Strings brightness' 48 min
'Banjo Mandolin question' 54 min
'Foxfire' 3 hrs
'Wild Bill Jones' 4 hrs
'just curious' 5 hrs